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An Illustrated Magazine Printed by Indians 

The Haunt of Samoset. 

Tbe Cherokee Indian School. 

Important Decision of the United States 
Supreme Court Relating 
to Indians. 

Indian Tactics and the American Army. 

Scattering of Narragansett Indians. 

Poisons Employed by Indians 
and Other Uncivilized 


®l)e Supreme tCftmg 

AM what everybody wants, but 
few take. 

I am the secret of health and 

I am the inspiration of youth 
and the solace of old age. 

I am always available. 

I am invincible and eternal. 

I am the antidote for crime, poverty, 
cruelty, and fear. 

I am the conqueror of disease, despotism, 
and despair. 

I am the healer of hatred, sin, and injus- 

I am the co-partner of truth and righteous- 

I am the remedy for the world's wants, 
wars, and woes. 

I am the builder of churches, chapels, and 

I am the guide of preachers, prophets, and 

I am the creator of lofty music, pictures, 
and architecture. 

I am the handservant of faith, mercy, and 

I am the fulfilling of the law. 

I am the greatest thing in the world. 

I am Love. 


S magazine i^mtb in tfje mteresit 
of tfte iSattoe amedcan 

Collection of Native North American Indian Books, 
Historical Books, Atlases, plus other important au- 
thors and family heirloom books. 
As of 12-31-93 

Earl Ford McNaughton^-i^ 

VOLUME 9 December, 1916 Number 4 


The Haunt of Samoset — 

By Charles E. Waterman - - - - 111 

Important Decision of the United States Supreme Court 

Relating to Indian Affairs - - - 114 

Indian Tactics and the United States Army — 

By W. 0. McGeehan in The New York Times - 121 

The Cherokee Indian School (Part II)— 

By Fred A. Olds in The Raleigh Times - 125 

Poisons Employed by Indians and Other Uncivilized Races — 

From The Western Druggist - - - 131 

The Scattering of the Narragansett Indians — 

From The Providence Journal - - 140 

OSCAR H. LIPPS, Superintendent- 
Entered as second-class matter. Ten numbers each year. One dollar per year. 
Printed by Indians of many tribes under the instruction of Arthur G. Brown. 

The Haunt of Samoset: 

By Charles E. Waterman. 



ATURE is kindly. She covers the wounds on the surface 
of Mother Earth with a cicatrix more beautiful ofttimes 
than the original cuticle. 

Nature was the first historian and she is yet on the 
job. Within the bosom of Mother Earth sleeps the 
story of creation, and within her bosom also sleep tales 
of the joys and sorrows of her children. 

Only a crumbling tOMJer on Roanoke Island tells the story of the first 
white settlement of Virginia. The old stone tower at Newport is a 
story in a foreign tongue for which no one yet has found a Rosetta Stone 
to translate it by. The many-storied Pueblos of New Mexico tell a 
tale of the aborigines so plainly that he who runs may read, and 
beneath the wavelike soil of the west — the ''buflfalo-wallows" — interesting 
histories of the only true Americans are found. These histories are very 
dim. There are other stories of these peoples shelved within this library 
of Mother Earth, narrated with the skill of an expert story-teller, with 
suggestions whereby the reader may construct a story of his own. Such 
a story, in several parts, has been made known in the State of Maine 
during the last half-century. 

When a "Mainiac" comes upon a depression in the earth's surface, 
maybe with scattered stones and bricks and perhaps an old fashioned 
rose bush growing near, he knows he is treading on sacred ground where 
some poineer set up his Lars and Penates. Should he desecrate this 
holy ground he may find interesting relics of forgotten generations. 
The town of Bristol is, perhaps, the site of the first European settlement 
in Maine or New England. The date of beginning is forgotten, it is so 
far back in the past. Some historians place it as far back as 1603, when 
Englishmen traded with Indians. That may or may not be true, but 
it is very, very old. It is quite certain that Captain George Weymouth, 
in the good ship Archangel, sailing from Downs, England, landed here 
in 1605, and that he kidnapped five friendly Indians, carrying them to 
his native shore. These Indians were returned a year or two later be- 
cause they were considered valuable aids to commerce with their tribes. 
The white settlement near where their wigwams stood flourished for a 
while, then disappeared; but it left a record beneath the surface of the 

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earth which kindly Nature covered, as she covered the lost babes in 
the wood, with a mantle of leaves, which in time decayed to nourish 
a more verdant covering. 

In later days a plowshare exposed the pavement of a street, and this 
exposure excited a search with pick and spade, which brought to light 
the remains of forts and other evidence of white occupation. This is 
known to modern historians as the story of Pemaquid. 

It is popularly supposed that Plymouth was the first dwelling place 
of Englishmen in New England ; but it is also a record of history that 
during the first dread winter of their occupancy an Indian entered the 
sprouting village, extending his hand and exclaiming: 

"Much welcome. Englishmen!" 

Such a welcome naturally surprised a people who supposed the English 
tongue was spoken and known only to themselves in all the vast wilder- 
ness round about them, and they questioned this visitor as to where he had 
learned the language of the Albion shore? "I am Samoset," he said, and 
I live where English ships come to trade with natives and fish in nearby 

Not only did Samoset welcome the Puritans in their own tongue, but, 
arriving as he did, in the wintry night of their discontent, he became their 
guardian angel, although not resembling, in spite of his coppery skin, the 
brazen replicas ofttimes seen on church spires. His words and acts put in 
a denial of the popular saying, before it was uttered, that an Indian to be 
good must be dead, for on departing he said : 

"I am going to my home, a week's journey to the east, where English 
ships are, and they will send you food." 

The eastern home to which Samoset returned was the Pemaquid 
already mentioned. He was lord of this territory, and the Indians who 
dwelt there, for we have it on no less an authority than Captain John 
Smith, of Pocahontas fame, who visited the place in 1614. 

Perhaps he was too friendly with the English and trusted them too 
implicitly. At any rate his white neighbors increased. In 1625, he with 
another chief, deeded his patrimony, to one John Brown, thereby making 
advance in civilization judged by English standards, by executing the first 
deed in New England. 

Such a paper is not only important, but at this far-away day intensely 
interesting. It reads as follows : 

TO ALL PEOPLE whom it may concern. Know ye, 
that I, Captain John Somerset and tJnongoit, Indian Saga- 
mores, they being heirs to all lands on both sides of Muscon- 
gus River, have bargained and sold to John Brown of New 
Harbour, this certain tract or parcell of land, as followeth, 
that is to say, beginning at Pemaquid Falls and so running a 
direct course to the head of New Harbour, from thence to 
the south end of Muscongus Island, taking in the island, and 


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lit- December i 




■■ii j'> 113 A 

so running five and twenty miles into the country north and 
by east, and thence eight miles northwest and by west, and 
then turning and running south and by west to Pamaquid, 
where first begun. To all of which lands above bounded, 
the said Captain John Somerset and Unongoit, Indian 
Brown, of New Harbour, in and for consideration of fifty 
Sagamores, have granted and made over to the above John 
skins, to us in hand paid, to our full satisfaction, for above 
mentioned lands and we, the above said Indian Sagamores, 
do bind ourselves and our heirs forever, to defend the above 
said John Brown, and his heirs in the quiet and peaceable 
possession of the above said lands. In witness whereunto, I 
the said Captain John Somerset and Unongoit, have set our 
hands and seals this fifteenth day of July, in the year of our 
Lord God, one thousand six hundred and twenty-five. 


Captain John Somerset X 


^ his 

Unongoit X 

Signed and sealed in presence of 
Matthew Newman 
William Cox 

July 24, 1626, Captain John Somerset and Unongoit, 
Indian Sagamores, personally appeared and acknowledged 
this instrument to be their act and deed at Pamaquid. 
Before me. 

Abraham Shurte. 

Somerset sold his patrimony for a mess of pottage, or perhaps, to be 
more literal, for coverings of pottage; but he was not the first man in 
history to do such a thing. It is probable, also, he did not fully realize 
what he was doing, and when the full force of the transaction took pos- 
session of his mind, he repented. He sold his lands in haste, as some 
people marry, and, like them, had a lifetime to repent in. He and his 
people after this transaction, had many square miles of territory in which 
to hunt and fish and upon which to rear their wigwams, but the lost pos- 
session, perhaps, simply because they were lost, ever appealed to Somerset, 
and he haunted its shores as long as he lived ; and somewhere, says tradi- 
tion, near the sparkling waters of the bay, he sleeps in an undiscovered 

Since the plowshare turned the cover of this forgotten volume of 
ancient lore, antiquarians have persued, with unceasing interest, chapter 
after chapter, annotating the passages most surprising with tablets of 
stone or bronze. Among other mementos, this early deed of Somerset's 
is remembered in stone. This lost inheritance meant life and meat to him 
and if he lamented and sighed for its return, he was repaid, as was another 
historic personage who asked for bread (or meat) with a stone. 

Important Decision of the United 
States Supreme Court Relating 
to Indians. 


U. S. V. Noble— October Term, 1914~No. 237. 

Mr. Justice Hughes delivered the opinion of the court. 

The Government brings this appeal to review a decree of the Circuit 
Court of Appeals, which affirmed a decree dismissing, upon demurrer, 
its suit as against the appellees. 197 Fed. Rep. 292. 

The suit was instituted against the appellees, and others, to set aside 
certain mining leases of an Indian allotment, and assignments of rents and 
royalties, upon the ground that they were procured in fraud of the allottee, 
and were in violation of the restriction against alienation imposed by Con- 
gress. The land in question had been allotted to Charley Quapaw Black- 
hawk, a member of the Quapaw tribe of Indians, under the act of March 2, 
1895, c. 188, 28 Stat. 876, 907. Patent was issued on September 26, 1896. 
The act of 1895 contained the following restriction : ''Provided, That said 
allotments shall be inalienable for a period of twenty-five years from and 
after the date of said patents." 

Opinion of the Court. 

By the act of June 10, 1896, c. 398, 29 Stat. 321, 331, Congress author- 
ized the allottees of lands, within the limits of the Quapaw Agency, 'to 
lease the same for a term not exceeding three years for farming purposes, 
or five years for mining or business purposes.' A further authorization — 
the one here involved — was made by the act of June 7, 1897, c. 3, 30 Stat. 
62, 72, which was as follows: 

"That the allottees of land within the limits of the Quapaw Agency, 
Indian Territory, are hereby authorized to lease their lands, or any part 
thereof, for a term not exceeding three years, for farming or grazing pur- 
poses, or ten years for mining or business purposes. And said allottees and 
their lessees and tenants shall have the right to employ such assistants, 
laborers, and help from time to time as they may deem necessary : Provi- 
ded, That whenever it shall be made to appear to the Secretary of the 
Interior that, by reason of age or disability, any such allottee cannot im- 
prove or manage his allotment properly and with benefit to himself, the 
same may be leased, in the discretion of the Secretary, upon such terms and 

conditions as shall be prescribed by him. All acts and parts of acts incon- 
sistent with this are hereby repealed." 

The bill alleges that the allottee made the following mining leases of the 
allotted lands, and assignments of rents and royalties, to wit: 

(1) Lease, dated January 11, 1902, to A. W. Abrams, for ten years 
from date, in consideration of the sum of $10, and a royalty of five per cent, 
of the market value of all minerals mined or removed (except gas, for which 
there was to be paid $40 per annum for each paying well) , with the proviso 
that there should be a minimum rental of $20 a year in case the royalties 
did not exceed that amount. On August 13, 1903, the lease was assigned 
by Abrams to the Iowa & Oklahoma Mining Company. 

(2) Lease, dated August 24, 1903, to A. W. Abrams, for ten years from 
date, in consideration of $18, and of royalties which were the same as in 
first lease save that the minimum rental was $21 a year. This lease was 
assigned on November 2,1904, to the Iowa & Oklahoma Mining Company. 

(3) Lease, dated March 25, 1905, to L. C. Jones, and the appellee A. J. 
Thompson, for ten years ffom date, for $10 and five per cent, royalty. It 
was stated that the lease was subject to the first lease above mentioned. 
The interest of Jones was assigned to the appellee, A. J. Thompson, on July 
31, 1905. 

(4) Lease, dated April 4, 1905, to the Iowa & Oklahoma Mining Com- 
pany, for ten years from date, for $25, with the same royalties as in the 
first lease above mentioned and with mimimum rental of $21 a year. 

(5) Lease, dated May 12, 1906, to the same company, for ten years 
from date and with the same consideration as that of the lease described in 
paragraph (4). It was provided that' this lease and all former leases above 
referred to shall run concurrently,' — the lessee being entitled to elect 
under which of the leases it would operate. 

(6) Lease, dated July 28, 1906, to the same company, for the term of 
twenty years from date for $21, with the same royalties and minimum ren- 
tal as those reserved in the preceding lease described in paragraph (5). 

(7j Grant or assignment, dated August 16, 1902, to the appellee, 
Charles F. Noble, of all the allottee's right, title, and interest in and to the 
royalty, rent, and proceeds of the mining lease dated January 11, 1902, 
made to Abrams, described in paragraph (1). It was further agreed, by 
said instrument, that if the Abrams' lease should be surrendered and be- 
come void the within lease should hold good for the period of ten years. 
On the same date, Noble assigned a one-half interest in the above- 
described instrument to John M. Cooper. 

(8) Assignment, dated February 21, 1906, to the appellees, A. S. 
Thompson and V. E. Thompson. It recited a judgment, in a suit 
against Noble and Cooper, decreeing that the allottee was the owner 
of two and one-half percentage of the entire product mined from said 

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land and sold on or subsequent to the 31st day of January, 1906, and up 
to and including the 11th day of January, 1912, and assigned to the 
above-mentioned appellees an undivided one-half interest in and to 
the said judgment for royalties, that is, one and one-quarter per cent, 
of the whole product on said lands during the period covered by the 
first lease to Abrams, described in paragraph (1). 

The bill further averred that the allottee, Charles Quapaw Black- 
hawk, was a full blood Indian, born in 1835, unable to read, or write, 
or understand intelligently the English language, an ignorant and un- 
educated child of nature, old and infirm, and wholly incapacitated for 
the transaction of business; that the lands were worth approximately 
$100,000; that on January 11, 1902, when the first lease was made, the 
lands had not been prospected and the value for mining purposes was 
uncertain, and that the consideration mentioned in that lease was equit- 
able and sufficient; that immediately thereafter, the lessee (the defendant 
Abrams) caused the lands to be drilled and prospected and found large, 
valuable and paying bodies of lead and zinc ore; that for the five years 
preceding the filing of the bill (July, 1909), there had been a number of 
concentrating plants or so-called ore mills located upon the said land, 
and in operation, and that the actual value of the output thereof, when 
in operation, was in excess of $50,000 a year; that in 1905, and before, 
the defendant Abrams, through his assignee, the Iowa & Oklahoma 
Mining Company, had sublet to other mining companies portions of 
the lands in consideration of a royalty of fifteen per cent, of the market 
value of the ores mined, which was a reasonable royalty; and that 
the transactions narrated in the bill (apart from the first lease to Abrams) 
were inequitable and unconscionable and a fraud upon the allottee. 

The validity of the first lease was conceded by the Government, 
but it was alleged that all the other leases and the assignments were 
in violation of the express restriction subject to which the allotment 
was made. 

Demurrers were filed by all the defendants. The Circuit Court held 
that the Government was not entitled to impeach the transactions upon 
the ground of fraud, but could challenge the validity of the several 
instruments as being in violation of the statutory restriction. It is not 
important here to consider the disposition made of the leases described 
in paragraphs (2), (4), (5), and (6), as these are not involved in this 
appeal. It is sufficient to say that the demurrers of Abrams and the 
Iowa & Oklahoma Mining Company were overruled, and that those 
of the appellees were sustained. United States v. Abrams, 181 Fed. 
Rep. 847. As to the latter, the bill was dismissed and the decree to 
that effect was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals, as already 

i 116 ] 


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We have, then, the question of the validity of the lease and assign- 
ments described in paragraphs (3), (7), and (8). 

The Quapaws are still under national tutelage. The Government 
maintains an agency and, pursuant to the treaty of May 13, 1833, 7 
Stat. 424, an annual appropriation is made for education and other 
assistance (37 Stat. 530). In 1893, the Quapaw National Council made 
provision for allotments in severalty which were to be subject to the 
action of Congress and in the act of ratification of 1895 Congress imposed 
the restriction upon alienation which has been quoted. The guardian- 
ship of the United States continues, notwithstanding the citizenship 
conferred upon the allottees ( United States v. Celestine, 215 U. S. 278, 
291; Tiger v. Western Investment Co., 221 U. S. 286, 315, 316; Hallowell 
V. United States, 221 U. S. 317, 324; United States v. Sandoval, 231 U. S. 
28, 48) ; and, where Congress has imposed restrictions upon the alienation 
of an allotment, the United States has capacity to sue for the purpose 
of setting aside conveyances or contracts by which these restrictions 
have been transgressed."^ Heckman v. United States, 224 U. S. 413; 
Mullen V. United States, 224 U. S. 448, 451; Bowling v. United States, 
.233 U. S. 528, 534. 

1. We may first consider the assignments of rents and royalties. 
Under his patent, the allottee took an estate in fee, subject to the limita- 
tion that the land should be 'inalienable for the period of twenty-five 
years' from date. This restriction bound the land for the time stated, 
whether in the hands of the allottee or his heirs. Bowling v. United 
States, supra. It put it beyond the power of him, or of them, to alienate 
the land, or any interest therein, in any manner except as permitted 
by the acts of 1896 and 1897. See Taylor v. Parker, 235 U. S. 42. The 
comprehensiveness of the restriction was modified only by the power 
to lease; and while the allottee could make leases, as provided in these 
acts, they gave him no power to dispose of his interest in the land sub- 
ject to the lease, or of any part of it. The rents and royalties were 
profit issuing out of the land. When they accrued, they became per- 
sonal property; but rents and royalties to accrue were a part of the 
estate remaining in the lessor. As such, they would pass to his heirs, and 
not to his personal representatives. 1 Washburn on Real Property, 
*337; Wright v. Williams, 5 Cow. 499. It is true that the owner of the 
reversion, when unrestricted in his right to convey, may sever the rent 
and grant it separately, but this is by virtue of his freedom to deal with 
the estate in the land. 2 Bl. Com. *176. 

It necessarily follows that the allottee in the present case having 
no power to convey his estate in the land could not pass title to that 
part of it which consisted of the rents and royalties. It is said that the 
leases contemplated the payment of sums of money, equal to the agreed 

j!r ITheKedMamI^- 

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percentage of the market value of the minerals and thus that the assign- 
ment was of these moneys; but the fact that rent is to be paid in money 
does not make it any the less a profit issuing out of the land. The 
further argument is made that the power to lease should be construed 
as implying the power to dispose of the rents to accrue. This is wholly 
untenable. The one is in no way involved in the other; the complete 
exercise of the authority which the statute confers would still leave the 
rents and royalties, to accrue, as part of the estate remaining in the lessor. 
It was the intent of Congress that the allottees during the period of re- 
striction should be secure in their actual enjoyment of their interest 
in the land. Heckman v. United States, supra. The restriction was 
removed only to the extent specified; otherwise, the prohibition against 
alienation remained absolute. 

The first assignment of royalties, as above described [paragraph 7], 
was made on August 16, 1902, of rents to accrue under the first lease, 
of January 11, 1902, which was to run for ten years. The second assign- 
ment made in January, 1906 [paragraph 8] was, in substance of 'one 
and one-quarter per cent, of the whole product on said lands' until 
January 11, 1912. Both were assignments of interests which pertained 
to the reversion, and both must be held to be invalid under the statute. 

2. The lease, here in controversy, was made on March 25, 1905, 
for ten years from date [paragraph (3)]. The property was already sub- 
ject to a lease, concededly valid, for ten years from January 11, 1902. 
The lease under which the appellee claims is what is known as an 'over- 
lapping lease.' It is not necessary to describe transactions of this 
character, for they are abundantly illustrated in the record which shows 
that this allottee made six leases of the same rights in less than five 
years, each for ten years from date with the exception of the last which 
was for twenty years, and all reserving substantially the same rents and 
royalties which were reserved in the first lease at a time when the 
property had not been prospected. The practice, to say the least, is an 
abnormal one, and it requires no extended discussion to show that it would 
facilitate abuses in dealing with ignorant and inexperienced Indians. It is 
urged, however, that the manner of dealing with the Indians, in gradually 
releasing them from guardianship and preparing them for complete inde- 
pendence, is for Congress to determine; that Congress has in this case 
authorized a lease for ten years ; that this was a lease for ten years, and 
no longer, and hence was within the authority; and that, however wise it 
might have been to prohibit 'overlapping leases,' Congress did not so 

We are of the opinion that this is too short a view. The question 
is as to the scope of the authority given by Congress; that is, whether 
it did not extend simply to leases in possession, and should be taken not 

mber <\ \ 

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to include 'leases in reversion.' The allottee, as we have seen, is under 
an absolute restriction with respect to his reversion for a period of twenty- 
five years from the date of his patent. In the light of this restriction, 
and of the governmental policy which induced it, there is sound reason 
for construing the power as not authorizing anything more than a lease 
in possession, as well understood in the law. At common law, as the 
Government points out, it was the established doctrine, that a tenant 
for life with a general power to make leases could make only leases in 
possession, and not leases in reversion or in future. He was not au- 
thorized by such a power to make a lease to commence 'after the deter- 
mination of a lease in being.' Such a lease was deemed to be 'rever- 
sionary.' Countess of Sussex v. Wroth, Cro. Eliz. 5; Shecomb v. Hawkins, 
Cro. Jac. 318; Yelv. 222; Winter v. Loveday, Comyn, 37;Sugden on 
Powers, p. 749; 4 Greenleaf's Cruise's Digest, 165, 166; Taussig v. Reel, 
134 Missouri, 530, 544-547; Woodfall on Landlord and Tenant (19th ed.), 
239, 244, 245. "A generakl^ power to lease for a certain number of years 
without saying either in possession or reversion, only authorizes a lease 
in possession and not in futuro. Such a power receives the same con- 
struction as a power to make leavses in possession. What is expressed 
in the one is understood in the other." Shaw v. Summers, 3 Moore, 
C. P. 196. This is not to say that an agreement for a new lease, at a 
fair rental, made shortly before the expiration of an existing lease, 
would not be sustained in equity. See Dowell v. Dew, 1 You. & Coll. 

We are unable to see that the allottee under the power in question 
has any better position. The protection accorded by Congress, through 
the restriction upon the alienation of the allottee's state — modified 
only by the power to lease as specified — was not less complete because 
the limitation was not in the interest of a remainderman, but was for 
the benefit of the allottee himself as a ward of the Nation. The act of 
1897 gives him authority 'to lease' for a term not exceeding the stated 
limit. Taking the words in their natural sense, they authorize leases 
in possession and nothing more. The language does not compel the 
recognition of leases which are to take effect in possession many years 
after their execution, if, indeed, it could be assumed that they were not 
intended to be concurrent. Such leases certainly violate the spirit of 
the statute, and according to the analogies of the law they violate its 

If, on the other hand, the lease be deemed to be a concurrent lease, 
that is, to be effective from its date, then it could only have that effect, 
being subject to the existing lease, as a grant or assignment of the re- 
version while the existing lease continued. Accordingly, it would entitle 
the lessee, as assignee of part of the reversion, to the rent reserved in 

i' 119 




I . |. TheI^dMan lir ] 

iH.;!ii,.''i..':::!'u'i|i''.,ii!;;M;;;i'!iii!.JllliLH!iL «ii!;J!iii!,!!ii.v''i;;;;;;!:;'''''^ii:;;;:;ii':,iii;,L 

the previous lease. Bac. Abr., tit., Leases, (N); Harmer v. Bean, 3 C. & 
K. 307. Woodfall on Landlord and Tenant (19th ed.), 245, 246. But 
every conveyance of the reversion, or of any interest therein, was clearly 
prohibited by the restriction. 

From every point of view, we must conclude that a lease for ten years 
made in 1905, subject to an existing lease for ten years, of the same 
property, which by its terms was to run until 1912, was unauthorized 
and void. 

As the United States was entitled to maintain the suit to cancel 
these instruments as transgressing the statutory restriction, it is un- 
necessary to consider the question whether, in the absence of such a 
violation, the Government would have capacity to sue to redress alleged 
frauds committed against allottees. 

The decree is reversed and the cause is remanded for further pro- 
ceedings in conformity with this opinion. 

It is so ordered. 

Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS took no part in the consideration and 
decision of this case. 

T ET us teach honestly and boldly that education 
Jl — ^ is not only the best thing in our civilization 
for which public money can be used, but that with 
the exception of ignorance it is also the 
most expensive. 

Dr. Charles 'Dur^can McEver 


„«_.M •<> HH • «,.-_,—.,—.»—., ». n. m ... v., ... .n m m. »• 

Indian Tactics and the American 

By W. 0. M'Geehan in New York Times. 

HO was the greatest American general? Considered 
from the point of view of his influence upon American 
field tactics, it was not Washington nor Grant nor Lee. 
It was some nameless Indian warrior whose bones lie in 
a forgotten mound and whose shade, sitting erect upon 
a ghostly steed in the Happy Hunting Grounds, grins 
sardonically as it looks down upon a brigade of khaki- 
clad United States troops drilling in open order. 

He sees the paleface commander deploying his 
skirmish lines with wide intervals between the men just as he had done 
and he notes with grim approval how the infantrymen take advantage of 
;he topography of the country. Then, as he sees the advance by rushes, 
a squad or platoon darting forward from opposite sides of the line to baffle 
the fire of the enemy, he knows that field tactics as he designed them were 

And that is all that the original American has left to the country. His 
music does not amount to much, his folk lore is not worth the preserving, 
but his military tactics have stamped their influence indelibly upon the 
American army. What has happened over in Europe during the last two 
years may entirely change the field tactics of the United States Army, but 
at the present writing the principal of open order, borrowed from the 
original American infantry, the Indian hosts, dominates the American 
field tactics. 

The first of the paleface generals to admit the military genius of the 
American Indian was George Washington. That was during the French 
and Indian wars, when Washington was attached to the Braddock expedi- 
tion. The elementary histories tell how Washington tried to impress the 
stubborn English commander with the folly of fighting in close formation 
in that wilderness. Washington suggested that the English expedition 
adopt the Indian tactics and take advantage of the country. Braddock 
refused and the refsual to adopt the Indian tactics was disastrous to the 

Military science has turned to the Indian point of view since then. It 

|!r 1 TheEsdMan .^1 

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is a primary rule in the tactics of all nations now to take advantage of the 
terrain — that is, the topography of the country. If there are trees to 
mask an advance, every advantage which the cover gives is taken for all it 
is worth. It is no longer considered unchivalrous or unmilitary to make 
feint attacks from the front, while the main attack is made in the flank or 
in the rear. Any military tribunal of to-day would have cashiered Brad- 
dock. He would be regarded as a man utterly ignorant of the first prin- 
ciples of military science. 

Perhaps that we may not be able to prove that the credit for the khaki- 
colored clothing which makes the modern soldier such a difficult mark for 
the enemy rifleman belongs to the American Indian. But the fact remains 
that the Indian was the first to adopt a fighting costume which made him 
hard to distinguish against his background. The dun of the deerhide 
clothing which the American Indian wore was as hard to distinguish as 
the khaki of the American or British armies or the dull gray of the German 
army. The white clothing which the German armies in Russia used for 
advancing through the snow is an adaptation of the American Indian's 
scheme of making himself look like his background. The Indian never 
had any artillery, but he paved the way for the masked batteries. 

The incendiary bomb used in Europe was another invention of the 
American Indian. Long before he knew the use of gunpowder the Ameri- 
can Indian used flaming arrows to set fire to fortresses. Andrew Jackson 
later adopted the scheme when he sent a red hot cannon ball into the 
renegades' fort in Florida and blew up the powder magazine. 

The tactics of the United States Army in the Philippines and in Cuba 
were entirely the tactics of the American Indian. United States troops 
charged the Spanish blockhouses in the same fashion as the Indians rushed 
an immigrant train or a border stockade. These charges baffled the 
Spaniards and they disgusted the Filipinos, who always protested that the 
American troops fought unfairly. 

I saw one strongly defended town in the Philippines rushed Indian 
fashion by two companies of volunteer infantry and captured in a frontal 
attack with heavy loss to the Filipinos. The latter were strongly in- 
trenched and their Mauser rifles swept the open ricefields through which 
the American troops had to advance. 

The United States troops deployed into line of skirmishers just beyond 
the range of direct fire. Then they started to advance by rushes according 
to the plans made by some ancient Indian commander. One squad would 
dart forward for fifty or a hundred yards and start firing from behind one 
of the little hummocks which criss-crossed the field, while the line behind 
continued a steady fire on the Filipino trenches. Just as this squad was 
settling to pour a steady fire at the Filipinos another would dart forward 
from a different part of the line. The fire of the Filipino lines became 

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I ^^^'-"'^ lli The]^dMan 123 

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demoralized. There was no stationary target and all the time the Ameri- 
can fire drew closer and became more accurate. 

It took less than three hours to take this strongly defended place by 
frontal attack and with a ridiculously small force. General Charles King, 
who had charge of this attack upon Santa Ana on the south line near 
Manila, acknowledged that it was won by Indian fighting, pure and 

One of the Filipino generals — Pio Del Pilar, I think — afterward com- 
plained that it was unfair. "They attacked us in a different manner 
from the Spanish troops," he said. "And they were into our trenches 
before we knew it. We were shooting all the time, but there was nothing 
to shoot at. When we started to fire at one group of men they were no 
longer there and men were running forward from another part of the field. 
When we turned our rifles there were men coming at us from another di- 
rection. We had barely time to leave our trenches before the American 
soldiers jumped into them.'^ 

This advance by rushes is an essential part of the American field tactics 
of the present. It was plagiarized directly from an Indian rush upon an 
immigrant train or a frontier stockade. It is the only style of frontal 
attack that would in any way embarrass machine gun operators. 

General Villa used it in his operations against the Huerta army, and 
an editor who is in the habit of making remarkably original discoveries 
decided that Villa had worked the plan out all by himself. Villa's ances- 
tors had been advancing by rushes in frontal attacks hundreds of years 
before, and as a matter of fact at the time that Villa was using this plan of 
attack it was part of the United States Army tactics. Villa's men captured 
many a machine gun in this manner. 

It was the American Indian, too, who discovered that the cavalryman's 
horse was chiefly useful for getting him somewhere in a hurry and that 
once the cavalryman was at his destination he was more effective fighting 
as an infantryman. Were it not for his penchant for scalping those slain 
in battle and for some other eccentricities the Indian would be frankly 
acknowledged as the greatest cavalryman and the originator of most of the 
cavalry tactics of the United States Army. Setting aside all prejudice and 
gaging his work purely from the point of view of efficiency with the small- 
est numbers and the least facilities, Geronimo, the Apache, was perhaps 
the greatest of all cavalry commanders. Certainly, he attacked with 
the greatest dash and inflicted the maximum harassment with the mini- 
mum effort, which is the business of the cavalry commander. 

Should the American army be forced to invade Mexico, it will be a 
case of the purely American tactics as demonstrated by the United 
States troops as against the purely American tactics as demonstrated 
by the Mexicans, half brothers of the originators of those tactics. 

Other things being equal, such as the matter of guns and munitions, 
the victors will be those who have become most proficient in the tactics 
of the ancient and purely American general who first evolved the scheme 
of open order and advance by rushes. 

One can almost see the inventor of those tactics watching the strug- 
gle from his vantage point on a peak in the Happy Hunting Grounds. 
The ghostly war bonnet is proudly erect and there is a brilliant light 
in the fierce dark eyes of the great warrior. 

"My brothers use my battle plans well," he says, "but the pale- 
face warriors have mastered my teaching even better. They are great 
warriors now, the palefaces, for they fight with the cunning that I have 
taught and in the real American fashion." 

And the heart of the great chief will no longer be bitter as he turns 
to his wigwam. The tactics of the United States army form a flatter- 
ing tribute to the American Indian's only streak of genius for military 

r¥ Whether other people really teach us 
▼ T anything is a question, but they do some- 
times give us impulses, and make us find out for 

5/an/ej; Hall. 


The Cherokee Indian School (Part II): 

By Fred A. Olds in the Raleigh Times. 

HERE has always been to this writer a charm about the 
Indian country and the Indians, for he has a boy's heart 
and mind, as his young friends well know. At every 
turn here in Cherokee-land there is something new to be 
seen or heard. Here are these rather more than 2,200 
Indians, in their own little world of 63,000 acres, quite 
as large as many a German duchy, living in one way a life apart. They 
used to be savages but they were good-natured savages, in fact they were 
the gentlest of all the Indians, although they could fight a plenty when 
fighting-time came, just like Uncle Sam today for all the world. Really 
you can't help liking them, queer as some of them are. They are super- 
stitious and believe in their medicine- men's conjuration but how about our 
white folks ; how about the white man in an eastern county who was told 
by a negro conjurer that he had been bewitched, and that the only thing to 
do to save himself was to draw an image of the man who had hoodooed 
him on a white-oak tree and shoot a silver bullet into the heart which he 
was to mark in the figure. The white man did this very thing. At an 
Indian ball game a squaw will bet all she has, except the clothes on her 
back, on her brave who is on the team, but how about the white ladies on 
"yon side" of the mountains, "down below" as they say up here, who will 
bet right and left on a bridge whist hand. These Indians, not all of them 
but most, will take all sorts of queer things which their shamans prescribe 
as medicine and in some cases they will let the so-called doctor, who is a 
power indeed in the tribe, go through all sorts of contortions and cere- 
monies to drive away the "devil" of sickness. But the writer knew a 
case a dozen years ago in Raleigh where a white woman went to a negro 
doc tress (if that be the proper word) and the doctress appeared, rubbed 
some unknown powder between her own hands, blew it in the air and then 
buried two bottles, one in the ground under the room and in fact in a line 
under the bed where the sick woman lay, the other bottle at the front gate, 
and the sick woman gave up two dollars of good money for this stunt. The 
question is whether we have anything on the Indians or not. It seems to 
the writer, who is very dispassionate about these things, that honors are 
easy and that we had better sing low. 

To tell the truth the white man as a rule has ever been covetous of what 
the Indian has, particularly land. Around this Indian reservation there 
is a fringe of whites, some good and alas! some bad. The latter hanker for 
the ending of the tribal holding of lands altogether, and not in severalty. 

p 126 'li 



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,r .'.iCHii^.ini.^'OiiT'iij 

1^ December M 

To get down to brass tacks, an Indian tells me that while there are many 
white friends of his people in this mountain region, the best friends the 
Cherokees have are east of the Blue Ridge. These Indians need protec- 
tion, they need confidence, they need love, and from some folks they get 
none of these things. In past years there were many inter-marriages of 
these Indians and the whites, but now thevse are forbidden by law, for the 
State desires to preserve the pristine purity of both races, and inter-mar- 
riages have almost ceased. Superintendent Henderson, who has charge of 
these Indians, says that in the three years he has been here only one such 
marriage has occurred. Out west the white man who marries a squaw is 
known as a "squaw-man." The United States keeps track most carefully 
of these, its wards, and can tell you to an eighth of a degree the amount of 
Indian or white blood in every one of them. 

Soon after the writer reached Cherokee-land he met James Blythe, who 
is fire warden of the reservation and who is easily the best educated and 
most scholarly of all the Cherokees. He has five-eighths Cherokee blood 
and his wife is an Oklahoma lady. They have a very delightful home in 
the attractive group of school buildings. Mr. Blythe's brother was the 
father of Rachel Blythe, whose home was at Raleigh, where she was the 
ward of Major John B. Neathery. She was educated at the Oxford Asy- 
lum and married Albert Bauer, the supervising architect of the governor's 
mansion at Raleigh. She died, leaving two children, one an infant only a 
few days, and over her grave her adoring husband erected the most beauti- 
ful and unique monument, this being a Greek temple, of marble, in Oak- 
wood cemetery in Raleigh. 

Her father was in the Sixty-ninth regiment and so was her grandfather, 
colonel of this command being William H. Thomas, whose son, James 
Thomas, last month gave the regimental flag to the North Carolina Hall of 
History, placing it in the writer's hands at Waynesville. 

James Blythe is a man who has traveled much and knows North Car- 
olina from mountains to coast, as indeed he does most parts of the United 
States. He too was educated at the Oxford Orphan Asylum. He has been 
in the United States Indian Service over 20 years, his English is faultless 
and he speaks Cherokee fluently. The writer finds no moment wasted 
when with Mr. Blythe. We went on a fine tramp up the Ocona Lufty river, 
beyond the dam which creates the power for the electric current here and 
to "turtle" mound built by the Indians, close beside the river and near 
where there was then their great town-house, in a noble meadow girt by 
little mountains, with loftier ones faintly blue showing through the gaps; 
just such a scene as the Indian loved then and loves now. About thirty 
years ago the Valentine family of Virginia opened this mound, which is in 
the shape of a turtle and which was about eighteen feet high and seventy- 
five feet in diameter; a burial-place for great men of the tribe. In it they 
found many objects which they placed in what is known as Valentine Mu- 

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seum in Richmond. They spent many thousands of dollars in their ex- 
plorations of Indian mounds in North Carolina, using their private funds. 

Looking from the top of this mound there was in view the house of old 
Sounooke, once a great chief, and we talked about such characters as 
Sequoiah, who invented their alphabet, not quite a hundred years ago, 
and thereby did splendid things for these Indians and all of North Carolina 
for now we know the meaning of all their western names, as in the extreme 
east, in the territory they occupied, we know the meaning of the Tuscarora 
words. About 70 years ago white men for the first time saw the largest 
trees in this world, in a California valley. One of these men was from 
western North Carolina, and to him fell the honor of giving them a name. 
He chose most happily that of the Cheorokee who invented the alphabet, 
so we have today the Sequoiah Gigantea, the ''big tree." See how 
North Carolina gets in the game all around. 

Never was there a franker friend and companion than James Blythe 
and he knows the Indians as a mother knows her baby. We talked 
about everytying from tuberculosis to fishing and from the shamans or 
medicine-men to the last word in house building for the red men. There 
has been a good deal of tuberculosis, due to changed conditions of living, 
but it is now being much diminished, owing to housing conditions which 
are being steadily improved. The Indians used to live in bark shacks in 
the night time, spending the hours of day light in the great outdoors and 
they lived upon game and fish, still-hunting the game with the bow and 
arrow and blow-gun. Bows and arrows and blow-guns are mere memories 
now and the writer secured seven years ago the last of the latter, a splendid 
specimen of reed 14 feet long, the arrow from which, propelled by the breath 
of an Indian with lungs like a blacksmith's bellows, would take a squirrel 
or bird out of the highest tree. 

All Indians like gay colors and the first time the writer entered this 
reservation a lot of them wore feathers in their hats, dyed or else originally 
bright. The feathers are now only worn at the ball games, which are 
played several times during the summer, after the night before has all 
been spent in "making medicine," at the foot of some mountain in a lonely 
place. Making medicine is a polite phrase for conjuring and the writer 
has seen all this performance through, with a group of Raleigh boys, who 
pinched themselves every few minutes, no doubt, in order to know whether 
they were asleep or awake, for it did not seem real at all. The ball team 
from Cherokee, whose patron is the hawk, was then to play the Soco team, 
Soco being a so-called town about seven miles away. The shaman or med- 
icine man was there that black night, enormous fires of chestnut logs sent 
their flames high on the flanks of Rattlesnake mountain, while squaws sat 
around them when they were not dancing in a circle or beating their feath- 
ered drums which hung from a frame of trees like a gallows, with two up- 

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,„ ■|; the:^dman ii 

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p> December 4\ 

right bars and two cross ones. The business of the medicine man was to 
pick the right man to represent Cherokee on the team the next day. 
There was a long line of men, young and middle-aged, naked except for a 
breech-clout, or trunks, to use the modern word, and they looked like 
bronze statues, splendid and sinewy. At the command of the shaman they 
entered the ice-cold water of a swift stream close by and there stood, obli- 
vious of anything but success in the coming game, believing in the old gods 
of their people no doubt and having supreme faith in their shaman. After 
they came out of the water he knelt by the soft earth bank and pressed 
into it some beads which were "charmed," and then when a lucky player 
came forward and the beads "leaped up from the earth" into the hands of 
the shaman that player was picked. Then there was drumming on the 
suspended drums, with hawk feathers hanging from them, and wild chant- 
ing by the squaws as they circled in their dancing the young braves, the 
drums, or the fires. With a wild burst of language the shaman invoked 
the guardian birds, the hawks of the Cherokee players, calling on them 
to swoop from the skies the next day while the game was in progress and to 
tear the faces of the Soco team with their beak and claw. No doubt at 
that particular moment the Soco shaman on the distant side of Rattle- 
snake mountain was calling on the animal upon which they depended to 
give them its powerful aid, their backer being the terrapin, and so that 
particular shaman was imploring that animal to come in force the next 
day and take every Cherokee player by the heels, drag him backward, 
hamstring him, do anything to put him out of the game, and give Soco the 

On either team, among the players, were college men, some full-bloods, 
some mixed, but every mother's son of them doubtless full of belief in the 
shaman and the ceremony, including the jumping beads, the invaluable aid 
of the hawks or the terrapins, everything in fact, for in the time of the ball 
game religion and the more modern beliefs take a back seat, and the old 
gods and their ways have the stage, yes, the very center of it, for under a 
thin veneer of faith there is paganism pure and simple. 

Let no one think that the shamans are back-numbers. The Cherokees 
can say of them with truth, "We have them in our midst. There are at 
least 14 on this reservation. Their names are not called except in very 
rare cases, that is as shamans with the title annexed, for it is considered 
mighty bad luck to use the title and all and so there are all sorts of ways of 
dodging the title and calling simply the ordinary name alone. One sha- 
man at present is Assuenki, which means "mink," another being Orgon 
Storga. About five months ago another, known as Ool Stuhi, went to the 
great beyond. The greatest of them all in recent years was old Swimmer. 
It was from him that James Mooney, the noted expert of the Unites States 
Ethnological Bureau, got the information as to the magic formulas the sha- 

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l""L:cen.ber l J TH Ei ^BDMAN J 129 'j| 

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mans use when they make medicine, and these are duly set down in a most 
remarkable book, of which the writer owns a copy and which was given by 
Mr. Mooney to a former chief, it then passing to the writer, who has it in 
the Hall of History. 

The Indian "medicine men" and their magic are surely believed in by 
nine-tenths of these Indians, but it must be remembered that this belief is 
the result of unnumbered centuries of life and thought and habit, not to be 
broken down and destroyed in even a century. These Indians are mainly 
Baptists and Methodists and their little churches are sprinkled here and 
there, but when the ball games come they are shy of what we term religion. 

A good story must be told on Mr. Mooney. He was getting informa- 
tion about the medicine men and their ways of doing things and with him 
was old "Swimmer," a noted shaman, and also James Blythe, the latter 
having devoted two years to making the translations into English of the 
various formulas which the Indians used in their treatment of diseases, 
many of them being calls on various birds and beasts to aid in bringing 
various things to pass, such as good luck in hunting or fishing, a love affair, 
success in money matters, relief from pain or sickness. Swimmer said he 
could not operate unless he had a real case. Suddenly Mr. Mooney had a 
sharp attack of headache, or at least told Swimmer he had one. Then 
Swimmer got busy and Mr. Mooney told him he need not go through any- 
thing except the words of the formula and so need not squirt any water 
upon him. Upon the table was an ink-stand ; Swimmer, presently, carried 
away by the force of his own beliefs in his powers, forgot it was ink, thought 
it was water and at the psychological second swallowed a good mouthful of 
it and suddenly ejected it all over poor Mooney. It was black ink, too. 
It all happened so quickly that Blythe could not prevent it and all he could 
do was to laugh. Swimmer laughed also, but Mooney did something else» 
with considerable emphasis, too. 

Uncle Sam's experts have a great way of finding out things, no matter 
how long it takes, and Mr. Mooney spent four years with this tribe on that 
particular visit. He wanted to find out the intimate secrets and he very 
truly informed Swimmer that it was important that these things should be 
written down and then printed and photographed, so that in the years to 
to come the skill and the learning of these great shamans should be at hand 
and all the world could see it. Mr. Mooney obviously knows the Indians 
and the force of this argument frought results. Swimmer has crossed the 
big divide but his reputation is now forever set down in black and white. 

When the average Cherokee becomes sick he will send for the medicine 
man and the latter goes to him and makes the required incantations, using 
the mystic ceremonies and works which have come down through the ages, 
of course modified by the degree of ability of any particular shaman, they 
being a sort of clan among themselves and sometimes exchanging their 

130 '1 

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!;; THEI^DMAN i f I 

great secrets with each other and sometimes having them in Httle books, 
written in the Cherokee tongue, these books of course being guarded almost 
as much as one's Hfe. Stillwell Saunooke is a shaman. On one occasion he 
was treating a patient and was frank to confess he had gone as far as he 
could go and advised that the "white doctor," that is, the one on the Cher- 
okee reservation, be sent for. On another occasion the white doctor went 
to see a patient and was told by a member of the family not to enter the 
house; that the medicine man was there, and to take a look at what the lat- 
ter had written on the door. There the shaman had written in chalk 
''Don't come in." The white doctor did not go in, because he thought it 
best not to butt in upon old established customs, one may say creeds, for 
this belief in shamanism is more than a mere cult, it is an obession which 
grips the average Indian mind. The old ones stick stoutly to the belief 
that the shaman is all-powerful and represents the forces of all nature, and 
this idea they pass into the minds of the younger ones, so that the pa- 
poose absorbs it with its mother's milk. So it is easy to see how hard it is 
to eradicate the belief and about the only resource is what a certain emi- 
nent gentleman in the United States has termed "watchful waiting." 

There are some Indians who know no English. They grew up before 
education was made compulsory by the government. Away back in the 
coves they live and the writer is going into their farthest settlements and 
have speech with them in their own quaint little homes, hardly ever more 
than two rooms, with a little porch, from which vines hang; with a fringe 
of the queer upright baskets of splits, like a narrow jar, in which they carry 
fish. Of course fishing poles are there too. There is a bit of land in culti- 
vation, corn certainly growing and some of the monster beans which the 
Indians have cultivated these many centuries and which when ripe they 
string and hang in their houses as folks "down below," that is, on "yon 
side" of the mountain, do the bright red-pepper-pods. There is quite sure 
to be an old fashioned mortar, three feet high, and a pestle, for beating 
corn; bright-hued baskets hanging about, gay bed-quilts, and if there are 
women some of their finery, particularly hats, for they are exactly like their 
white sisters in this respect and it is "the Colonel's lady and Judy O'Grady" 
all over again in this respect as well as in not a few others. 

Poisons Employed by Indians and 
Other Uncivilized Races: 

From The Western Druggist 

HE use of both plant and animal poisons has been quite 
common among the American Indians and other un- 
civilized tribes for a long time. By far the most general 
purpose to which poisons prepared by them is put is the 
poisoning of arrows and darts ejected from a blow pipe, 
but in almost all instances, whether intended for inter- 
nal use or for poisoning arrows or other purposes, the 
operation is performed with more or less ceremony, chanting and incan- 
tation, for the purpose of invoking the aid of the evil spirits. Without 
this the Indians believe that their compound would be ineffective. 

Vegetable poisons were chiefly used as an aid in the capture of fishes. 
Thus, says R. I. Geare, in Merck's Report, the Cherokees were in the 
habit of throwing into their streams pounded walnut bark in order to 
stupefy the fishes, after which they could be easily dipped out in baskets 
as they floated on the top of the water. Among these Indians, too, the 
poisonous wild parsnip (Peucedanum?) bears an unpleasant reputation 
on account of its frequent use in evil spells, especially those intended to 
destroy the life of the victim. In one of these conjurations seven pieces 
of the root upon one hand and rubbed gently with the other, the omen 
being taken from the position of the pieces when the hand is removed. It 
is also said that poisoners mix it secretly with the food of their intended 
victim, when, if he eats, he soon becomes drowsy, and unless kept in 
motion until the effect wears off, falls asleep, never to wake again. Some 
instances are also recorded where Cherokee Indians ate the root of this 
plant in order to commit suicide. 

The aborigines of the Southeastern States, too, were in the habit of 
poisoning the streams with certain roots, a species of Tephrosia being 
most commonly used. 

Of the California Indians the following has been written: "When the 
summer heat dries up the streams to stagnant pools they rub poisonous 
soap root in the water until the fish are stupefied, when they easily scoop 
them up, and the poison will not affect the tough stomachs of the aborig- 
ines." The roots are first pounded fine and then mixed into the water. 
Both eastern and western tribes employed buckeyes to accomplish the 
same end. 

One authority on this subject gives the Nanticoke Indians the credit of 

1. J TheI^dMam f ^^^^^^^^^ ;:i 

inventing fish poison, and they were also regarded as skillful in destroying 
human life by means of poison. 

A leader of the Pueblo Indians in the insurrection of 1680 is said 
to have been killed by poison, but the source of the poison used on that 
occasion is not recorded. 

Much suffering and death was caused among the forces of Diego de 
Vargas, in his expedition of 1692, by the Zuni Indians poisoning some of 
the springs at Pescado and near the entrance of their valley with yucca 
juice and cactus spines. They also poisoned the water "with the death 
magic of corpse-shells, so that the horses and men, drinking there, were 
undone, or died of bloating and bowl sickness." 

Of the Yokut Indians of California it is recorded that the priests drank 
a decoction of the roots of Datura metaloides in order to produce religious 
frenzy, and sometimes death was the result of an overdose. This poison- 
ous plant was also known to the Hopi, Navaho, and other tribes of the 

The sap of the Yucca augustifolia was the substance used by the Lipan 
Apaches. They dipped their arrows into it, regarding it as poisonous, 
while the material used by the Pit River Indians of California is composed 
of dog's liver mixed with the juice of the wild parsnip. 

Certain Eskimos and the Aleuts poisoned their arrows and lance-points 
with a preparation of aconite by drying and pulverizing the root, and then 
mixing the powder with water. When fermented, they applied the 
preparation to their weapons. 

The milk of a plant called Mago (probably a Euphorbia) by the Opata 
Indians of Sonora was used for arrow poison. 

One of the early historians relates that a member of Coronado's cele- 
brated expedition of 1540 was badly wounded by a poisoned arrow. It is 
said that the victim's skin rotted and fell off until it left the bones and 
sinews bare, causing the most horrible odor. The wound was apparently 
in the wrist, and the poison had just reached the shoulder when he was 
cured by the use of the juice of the quince, as an antidote. For the same 
purpose rattlesnake venom is said to have been employed by the Jova, 
Seri, Blackfeet, Kainah, Piegan, and Teton Sioux Indians. 

Among the Shoshone and Bannock Indians animal poison was in use. 
Their methods of poisoning arrows was to secure a deer, which they killed 
after causing it to be bitten by a rattlesnake. The meat of the deer was 
then removed and placed in a hole in the ground, and after the mass had 
become putrid, the arrow points were dipped into it. Concerning this 
practice Hoffman writes: ''By this method the serpent venom is supposed 
to be the most essential in the operation ; but it is extremely doubtful if the 
venom had time to fully enter into the circulation in the short interval be- 
tween the time that the deer was bitten and killed." If this method was 

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actually practiced by these Indians, the poison of the putrescent matter, 
Dr. Hoffman thinks, may have caused death by septicemia. 

The Menominee Indians in the northeastern part of Wisconsin admit 
that their ancestors poisoned their arrows by besmearing the points with 
rattlesnake venom, and it may be asserted that many of the tribes border- 
ing on the Menominee country practiced various ceremonies and methods 
of preparation of supposed or actually poisonous compounds, which were 
believed to aid in the destruction of the life of the animal or person struck 
or wounded by an arrow. In many instances the venom or decomposed 
matter used caused septicemia and finally death, but the motive prompt- 
ing the preparation of the poisoned arrows, and the power possessed by 
them, is to be found in their mythologic beliefs. 

The principal constituent of the poison used by the Seri Indians for 
poisoning their arrows is a portion of a lung, preferably human, which, 
states Mr. W J McGee, is exposed to the bites of maddened rattlesnakes, 
the stings of irritated scorpions and the venomed trailings of harried centi- 
pedes. Then the deadly creatures are killed, and the fanged heads of the 
serpents, the stinging tails of the scorpions, and the fiery feet of the centi- 
pedes, together with portions of redolent ordure from the grave-cairns and 
other symbols of death and decay, are crushed and macerated with the 
mass in a wizard's brew, gruesome beyond the emasculated and degraded 
witch's broth of medieval times. Finally, the grisly mess is allowed to 
simmer in a stink-pot shell under the fierce desert sun until its ripeness and 
putrid potency are attested by the rank fetor of death, when it is ready for 
its ruthless use. Thus, continues Mr. McGee, the entire recipe is thauma- 
turgic in concept, necromantic in detail. It represents merely the male- 
volent machinations of the medicine man seeking success by spells and 
enchantments. It stands for no material thought or practice, but per- 
tains wholly to the plane of shamanism and sorcery. 

Bandelier, too, in his work on the Indians of the Southwestern United 
States, narrates that the poison used by the Seris in poisoning their arrows 
was vegetable, but he gives no credit to the tales ascribing the mortal 
effects of arrow wounds to snake poison collected on arrow-tips and pre- 
served there in a dried state. The plant used by them for this purpose is 
believed to be a species of Euphorbiacea. 

Among the Opata Indians, and perhaps other tribes, it seems probable 
that the yerba mala (Sebastiano biloculuris), or yerba de flecha (mago or 
magot) yielded or formed the standard arrow-poison, that the ill-repute of 
the shrub survived and spread through Mexicanized Sonora in such fre- 
quent repetitions and common belief as to affect the ideas of residents and 
travelers alike, but it also seems probable that the magic-inspired brew of 
the Seri, already described, is entirely distinct. 

Blow-pipe darts were used more extensively than poisoned arrows, and 

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the darts are still used in various parts of South America (Colombia, Gui- 
anas, Brazil, etc.)- Also used in other countries, e. g., by the Negritos. 
The purpose of the poisoned dart is two-fold : 

1. To benumb (datura) the animal (not kill it), so that it can be cap- 

2. To kill an enemy. 

a. The poison was paralyzing, and very quick in its effect (curare). 

b. It produced mortal infection, slowly acting. The arrows were 
dipped in the putrefying meat. Sometimes snake poison was mixed in. 

As a rule, the poisoned arrows and darts had wooden points, so that the 
poison would adhere better. 

The Hupa Indians cultivate their own tobacco. Logs are burned, and 
the seed is sown in the ashes. The plant appears to be, and probably is 
identical with the wild Nicotiana bigelovii, but the Hupas say that the cul- 
tivated form is better. The wild form along the river is said by them to 
be poisonous, and they believe that an enemy's death may be caused by 
giving him tobacco from plants growing on a grave. 

In Central America poisons are freely used both on arrows and blow- 
gun darts. The Caribs use a poison made from the sap of a tree called 
"Mancenilles." The antidote was the application to the wound of a poul- 
tice of a farinaceous substance, which later became known to us as "arrow- 

In South America "curare," which was first brought to the notice of 
the civilized world by Sir Walter Raleigh, is the principal substance used 
by the aborigines for poisoning arrows and darts. Curare is a vegetable 
poison extracted from a certain plant of the genus Strychnos (perhaps S. 
toxifera). The curare of commerce is a solid substance, black or dark- 
brown with a yellow tinge. It has a bitter taste. The active principle 
called "curarine," is soluble in most liquids, acids and alkalies. The tinc- 
ture, with alcohol, is red in color and bitter to the taste. The aqueous 
solution is red (foncee) and also bitter. The precipitate is yellowish 
white, soluble in acids and alcohol. This plant is only known to grow in 
three or four localities in Guiana. Its habits are those of a ligneous twiner 
or bushrope, and are of the same kind as are known in the French colonies 
as "Liane," and by the Spaniards as "Bejuco de Mavacure." The Indians 
of the Macusi tribe, who call the plant "Urari-ye" and the poison "Rari," 
are said to be the most skillful manufacturers of the poison from this and 
other plants. The Bejuco is found in the hilly and granite earths of 
Guanaga and Yumarigin, on the right bank of the Orinoco. It is the bark 
of the alburnum which contain the terrible poison. The branches of the 
plant are scraped and thrown into a percolator made of a leaf of the plan- 
tain rolled in the form of a cone, and placed within a stronger one made of 
palm leaves. A cold infusion is first made by pouring water on the scrap- 

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ings of the bark. A yellowish liquid filters through the percolator drop by 
drop for several hours. This liquid is the poison, but it does not acquire 
its force till it has been concentrated by evaporation. As this concentrated 
juice is not thick enough to stick to the arrow, the Indians add the juice of 
the "Kir-ca-guere," which is glutinous. It is thrown into the concentrated 
poison while at a boiling point, and the mass instantly becomes black and 
coagulates into a substance of the consistence of tar or thick syrup. This 
is the ''curare" of commerce. As a drug, it acts on the nervous and respi- 
ratory systems, producing death by asphyxiation. The muscular system 
remains unaffected. Experiments have been of introducing "curare" into 
the stomach of an animal as a test, and the animal, it is stated, almost 
always died from the effects of the drug. In other cases, where the paral- 
ysis of the respiratory organs was complete, an incision was made in the 
wind pipe, and artificial respiration was established, and when this was 
continued until the paralysis had passed, the animal began to breathe 
naturally and recovery ensued. 

It is said that there is very little antagonism existing between 
*'curare" and strychnine, these two poisons differing only in shades which 
disappear with the differences of doses and the modes of administering 

Along the river Amazon there live many tribes which use arrows poi- 
soned with wourali from the wourali vine, Strychnos toxifera (see previous 
paragraph on "curaVe" used in South America). It is closely allied to the 
tree which furnishes strychnine, in its coarser stage of preparation called 
nux vomica, or ''ratsbane." The upas-tree, which furnishes the Dyaks of 
Borneo with poison for their arrows, belongs to the same genus. Their 
manufacture of the poison is related further on. The wourali seems to be 
closely identical with the "curare" already mentioned. It has a vine-like 
appearance, with a woody stem about three inches in diameter, and is 
covered with a rough gray bark. The leaves are dark green, opposite 
each other, and of an oval form. The fruit is nearly as large as an apple, 
round and smooth, with seeds imbedded in a bitter gummy pulp. When 
the poison-maker has found the wourali, he searches for two bulbous 
plants containing a green and glutinous juice, and puts some of the stems 
into his basket called a "quake" or "habbah." The third vegetable is a 
bitter root, probably the "hyarri," which is largely used by the natives in 
poisoning water for catching fish. All parts of this plant are poisonous, 
but the root is the most powerful part. The natives take some of the root 
in their canoes, bale water over it, and pound it with their clubs. After 
allowing the water to mix with the expressed juice, the fisherman throws 
it overboard, and in a few minutes every fish within considerable dis- 
tance comes floating to the surface perfectly helpless. ■ 

To return to the arrow poison. The native next procures two kinds 


t The:^dMan I ■ 4 

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of ants (the muniri, Ponera grandis, and the fire-ant, myrmica soevis- 
sima), also the poison fangs of the labarri and couna-couchi snakes, and is 
then ready to concoct his arrow-poisoning mixture. Having placed the 
ingredients in a pot, the vessel is put on the fire, which is kept up very 
gently so as to allow the contents to simmer rather than boil, and more 
wourali juice is added to supply the waste caused by evaporation. A 
scum is thrown up and this carefully skimmed with a leaf, the boiling pro- 
cess being continued till the poison is reduced to a thick, dark-brown 
syrup. To test its readiness for use, the seed of a red pepper is thrown in 
and the boiling is continued as long as the seed revolves. When the seed 
remains stationary, the preparation is regarded as complete. The arrows 
being then dipped in the poison are ready for use. 

The natives of Guiana have also discovered a wood which is poisonous 
enough for effective application to their arrows. It is the wood of some 
endogenous tree of a pale yellow color, but I cannot find out its name with 

The tips of the arrows used by the Dyaks of Borneo are smeared with 
poison obtained from the upas-tree (Antiaris toxicaria), which belongs to 
the order Astocarpeae. It is the well-known "bread-fruit" tree. It is 
stated by Rev. J. G. Wood in his work on the "Natural History of Man" 
that this tree is beli ved to poison the whole atmosphere for a mile around, 
and that the deadly juice is obtained only by condemned criminals, who 
earn their pardon if they can bring off a bottle of the juice. This is pro- 
cured simply by boring a hole in the trunk, from which the juice issues in a 
white, cream-like state. When exposed to the air, it speedily becomes 

It may be interesting to state that all of the plants of this order 
produce a white, milky juice, which is always acred and deleterious, and 
in many instances is exceedingly poisonous. Strange to say, the fruit 
(wherein the milk is replaced by sugar in the process of ripening), is not 
only harmless, but nutritious. 

To return to the American Indians, it may be stated that another sub- 
stance used for poisoning arrows is called "Caramari." It is made with 
certain ill-smelling gray roots found along the sea coast, and being burnt in 
earthen pipkins the Indians compound a paste poisonous to man. To 
the paste are added large spiders and hairy worms, also the wings of a bat, 
and the head and tail of a sea-fish called Tevorino, etc., besides toads, 
tails of snakes, and Mancanillas, which are like beautiful apples, but are 
really deadly poison. All of these ingredients being set over a large fire, 
are well boiled in pots by a slave till they come to the proper consistency. 
The steam arising from the mass is said to be powerful enough to kill a 

Another poisonous composition is made of 14 different ingredients, and 





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Mill II 



another of 24. These poisons will kill a man in 3 to 5 days. Some writers 
say that the wounded person lived as many days as the poison had been 

When the Spaniards first came to Carthagena they ate some of the 
Mancanillas above mentioned, and their experience is related in the fol- 
lowing words: "All those that did eat of them thought they should have 
burst, but they were relieved with oil ; and they concluded from the violent 
reachings and pangs that they must infallibly have died, had it not been 
for the oil. This dreadful poison did much mischief till a remedy was 
found against it." 

Captain John G. Bourke, U. S. A., writing on the subject of poisoned 
arrows, said that he did not believe in the virulence or rather the per- 
manent virulence, of the poison made from the putrid liver of deer into 
which an enraged rattlesnake had injected its venom. He had seen men 
and animals struck by darts alleged to have been so poisoned, but was not 
aware of any additional injury having been caused thereby. According 
to Herrera, Columbus found poisoned arrows among the natives, and it is 
said that the natives of South America compelled old women to prepare 
this deadly mixture; and if it did not half-kill them, they were beaten 
nearly to death. 

The Chevalier Tonti, alluding to the force with which the ancient 
southern Indians projected their arrows, quaintly writes: "That which is 
wonderful in this is the havoc which the shot sent by the savages makes ; 
for, besides the exactness and swiftness of the stroke, the force of it is very 
surprising, and, so much the rather, because it is nothing else but a stone, 
or a bone, or sometimes a piece of very hard wood painted and fastened to 
the end of an arrow with some fishes-glue, that causes this terrible effect. 
When the savages go to war, they poison the point or extremity of their 
dart so that, if that remains in the body, death follows of necessity; the 
only remedy in this case is to draw out the arrow through the other side of 
the wound, if it goes quite through; or, if not, to make an aperture on the 
other side, and so draw it through ; after which they know by instinct cer- 
tain herbs the application of which both draws out the venom and cures 

The Bosjesmans, or Bushmen, of South Africa, use poisoned arrows 
with deadly effect, the juice of the Amaryllis, like that of Euphorbia, being 
used for the purpose. It is mixed with venom extracted from a large 
spider, as well as from various kinds of serpents. But there is a worse poi- 
son which these people concoct. It is the juice exuded from a grub called 
N'gwa or K'aa. These grubs live in a tree called "Maruru papeerie," 
which is about the sixe of an ordinary elm. These poison grubs are of a 
pale flesh color, something like that of a silkworm, and about three-quar- 
ters of an inch in length. It is said that when a human being is wounded 

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by an arrow poisoned with the exudation of this grub, he suffers the most 
intolerable agony and soon dies. 

The Balonda tribe, living near to the equator, occasionally poison their 
streams like certain tribes of North American Indians already alluded to, 
by which they destroy every fish, small and large, that comes within range 
of the deadly juice with which the water has been polluted. 

The arrows used by the men of the Andaman Islands are very neatly 
made. They are about three feet long and consist of a reed for a shaft, to 
the end of which is fastened a piece of hard wood. On this tip is fixed the 
head, which is usually the barbed tail-bone of the sting-ray, and it is 
usually poisoned. 

Even in prehistoric ages poisoned arrows were used in Europe. Later 
on, the Celts and Gauls are said to have poisoned their arrows with the 
juice of a plant of the genus Hellebore, called lineum. The Dalmatians 
and Daces used the plant known as Aster helenium. Aristotle stated 
that the Scythians prepared their arrow poisons by mixing serpent venom 
with the serum of putrid blood. 

The Ainos of Japan prepare a poison which is spread on bamboo or 
metal arrow-points, and it is stated that game killed in this way may be 
eaten without injury by merely throwing away a small portion of the flesh 
surrounding the wound. This practice obtains also in Java, New Guiana, 
Borneo, and other East Indian islands, and accounts of its use in some of 
these regions have already been given. The poison generally used is that 
obtained from the famous Upas-trees (Strychnos tiute and Antiaris tox- 
icaria) . 

It is probably true that no country is better supplied with poisonous 
herbs than India. Along the waysides harmless-looking plants flourish 
abundantly, and yet they may possess the most deadly qualities. One of 
the commonest of these is the "datoora," with its large white flower and 
leaves resembling a hollyhock. It is now used as a valuable remedy for 
asthma, but the seeds are a subtle and powerful poison, which in small 
doses cause temporary insanity, while in large quantities they cause per- 
manent injury to the brain or death. These seeds are sometimes made up 
in the form of sweet-meats which in actually known cases have been given 
by disguised robbers to their victims in order to render them insensible 
while the robbery was being committed. This form of poisoning by rob- 
bers has largely taken the place of the terrible "roomal" (handkerchief 
strangling) in use among the old thugs. 

Another of these plants is called the "madar." It is soft and branching 
with broad, thick, dark-green leaves covered with down, and large, white 
waxen flowers faintly tinged with pink toward the center. The milk of 
this plant, however, contains strangely powerful properties, and the plant 
exudes it abundantly on the slightest scratch of its succulent leaf or stem. 

When dried in the sun, the milk becomes hard and brittle. The natives of 
India state that if a probe is formed from a mixture of this milk with a 
pounded ruttee-seed, dried and hardened in the sun, and if the skin be 
pricked with this and the point left, death will follow imperceptibly and 
painlessly in two or three days, leaving no trace of the cause, medically or 
otherwise, but the faintest speck like a mosquito bite, where the skin was 

There are numerous other well-known poisonous plants growing in 
In diawhich are used for various purposes, not excluding the taking of 
human life, such as the ganja, which is prepared for smoking, and the 
poppy. In the latter the seeds are harmless, being used in native con- 
fectionery, but the milk is the active principle, being either a poison, a 
narcotic, or merely being used as a medicine, according to the amount 
given and the method of taking it. 

THE man who smiles finds good in everything he 
sees. Why frown, and spoil the joy of living? 
There never was a man who was "worst off." Learn 
to smile, and you'll learn to see the things 
that make men glad. 

The JJmbassador. 

Scattering of Narragannsett Indians: 

From the Providence (/?. /.) Journal. 

LTHOUGH the Narragannsett Indians once peopled 
the southwestern part of Rhode Island by the 
thousands, according to the estimates of historians, 
there now remains considerably less than 500 who 
can claim any connection with that once powerful 
body of aboriginals who gave so much concern to 
the first white settlers, prominent among whom is 
Edward Michel of Providence, the only Indian chauf- 
feur in Rhode Island, and probably in New England. 
None of full blood remains of that once feared tribe, the scattered 
members being in the lesser degree of partial white admixture, within 
the others African blood predominates. None has any conception of 
the dialect of the tribe and few have any knowledge of the tribal 
customs, beyond the dance which was held always at the town hall 
at Charlestown, on the second Sunday of August, the occasion for the 
annual reunion. 

This is not at all surprising, considering that there are no patriarchs 
among them, the oldest survivors being not more than 70 years of age. 
By general consent, it is declared that George Ammons of Charlestown 
is better on tribal traditions than any other of their number, but even he 
has but a vague knowledge of the activities of his forebearers, as com- 
municated to him by his grandparents. 

While there have been repeated successions of intermarriages, 
their nature well calculated to weaken racial characteristics, the In- 
dian marks remain well preserved — high cheek bones, prominent nose, 
reddish tinge of complexion, and straight, black hair. 

Mr. Michel has all the attributes of the Indian — the tall, wiry figure, 
lankiness, sharp, protuberant nose, sharp eye, coppery-red face, and 
coarse, black hair, with a clean cut mouth. Many have noted his ap- 
pearance about town and readily recognized him as of aboriginal de- 
scent. His sister, Mrs. Mary Watson, and his brother, William Michel 
Wakefield, are even more pronounced in their racial traits. 

Perhaps to a greater extent than with some other Indians tribe, the 
history of the Narragansetts is veiled in mystery. They were not 
mound-builders, hence scientists and ethnologists have not been per- 
mitted to wrest their secrets from buried stone and other carvings. 
The little that is known of them is traditional — narrations that have 
been thinned down too almost nothing through the generations that 
have disappeared. 

Curious conceptions were formed by the first of the white settlers, 
some based on prejudice, others on well-grounded fear of the hostile- 
inclined red men. The learned Joseph Mede, an early Massachusetts 
historian, expressed the opinion that at some remote and undiscover- 

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ii' 141. -Ill 

able period, the devil finding the old world no longer suited to his oper- 
ations ''seduced a company of silly wretches for his abominable and 
diabolic service, into a wilderness, where they practiced their diabolical 
rites without hindrance or obstruction." 

Roger Williams formed no such opinion of the red mfen when he 
came to Rhode Island in 1636. He came among them as a missionary 
of more than ordinary hopefulness and enthusiasm as to their em- 
bracing Christianity and civilization. He might, perhaps, have ob- 
tained and recorded much of a historical character which would to-day 
be invaluable from the archaeological and ethnological viewpoint, but 
his interest was in the other direction. The little questioning that he 
did disclosed wonder on the part of the Indians that any one cared 
for what was of so little interest to themselves. "They say them- 
selves," wrote Williams, "that they have sprung and grown up in that 
very place, like the very trees of the wilderness." 

Biblical students of that period were unwilling to admit that a race, 
whose barbaric manners were in every particular in contrast with their 
own, could have a common ancestry with themselves. In the 17th 
century the accepted belief was that the Narragansetts were by natural 
descent and generation, children of the devil, although later the opinion 
prevailed, based upon study of the Asiatic nations, that this, with the 
other primitive American races, were the offshoots of emigrants from 
some of them. 

Roger Williams dismissed the whole subject of ancestry by asserting 
that their original descent was from Adam and Noah, "but for their 
later descent and whence they came into these parts, it seems as hard to 
find as to find the well head of some fresh streame, which running many 
miles out of the country to the salt ocean, hath met with many mix- 
ing streams by the way." 

It is historical that the Niantics, whose tribal lands were in southern 
Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut, were so reduced numerically 
because of the fierce onslaughts of the Pequots that they became con- 
solidated with the Narragansetts, having disposed of Misquamicut to 
the whites in 1660, when they had occupied their reserved land under 

The alliance of that sachem with the Narragansett throne was both 
political and domestic. His sister, Quaiapen, married Maxuano, the son 
of Canonicus. At the death of Canonicus, the last sachem of the Narra- 
gansetts, Ninigret became the ruler of the allied tribes, and from Nini- 
gret came the tribe populary known as the Narragansetts. His first 
daughter succeeded him on the throne and she in turn was succeeded by 
her half-brother, the Ninigret who died in 1732. 

He left two sons, Charles Agustus Ninigret and George Ninigret. 

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Charles assumed the throne, and dying, left an infant son Charles, who was 
acknowledged by a portion of the tribe as sachem. The other part of the 
tribe adhered to George, as being of royal blood. The infant was killed 
and George was made king in 1735* He left three children, Thomas, 
George, and Ester. Thomas, designated as " King Tom," came to the 
throne in 1746 at the age of ten years. During his reign much tribal 
land was sold, when many of the tribe, dissatisfied because of this restric- 
tion upon their hunting grounds, emigrated to New York. 

''King Tom" early came under the beneficent influence of missionaries 
sent out by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, leading him to 
petition the society to establish free schools for the children. In the Great 
Revival of 1750 many of the tribe accepted Christianity, and the Indian 
church was built. 

Esther succeeded her father, and upon her death her son, George, was 
formally crowned king. His accidental death at the age of 22 years ter- 
minated the line of kings, for then the tribe adopted an elective form of 
government, holding annual elections at which a governor and four coun- 
cillors were chosen. From 1707, however, the tribe and the common reser- 
vation lands were virtually controlled by the State of Rhode Island. 

Gradually the tribe on the reservation grew fewer in numbers, until 
1833 there was but 198, only seven of whom were of pure blood. In 1853 
the enrollment dropped to 138. The tribal lands passed wholly to the 
Sta:te in 1880, when the tribal authority and relation were abolished by an 
act of the General Assembly. 

The few remaining members now became well scattered, several of 
them taking up their residence in and about Wakefield. In the light of 
these statistics, it is reasonable to assume that the estimate of one of the 
Narragansetts that there are about 70 left who can trace their ancestry 
back to the land is rather highly placed, and that the opinion expressed 
by Edward Michel that there are not 50 who can make such a claim is 
justified. Including these, and those who left the reservation and reared 
families, something under 500 claim afhnity with the tribe. 

Mr. Michel, who is 50 years old, is the only Narragansett of white de- 
scent born on the reservation who lives in Providence. He is also the sole 
surviving member of the tribe who assisted the State authorites in making 
the survey of the reservation preparatory to transferring the land to the 

He was one of the boys who, as youngsters, and in the years just before 
reaching the state of manhood, attended the reservation school which in 
latter days, he says, was generally in a turbulent condition, owing to the 
conduct of the older boys and young men who made the life of the in- 
structor, provided by the State, anything but a happy one. Like his sis- 
ter, he has recollection of but one tribal function — the annual dance in- 

r ,. . ; Is; THE^DMAK j ; 143 

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dulged in at the Town Hall, in Charlestown when the tribal reunion was 
held on the second Sunday in August. 

Mrs. Mary E. Watson, his sister, says at that time she first attended 
the Indian school at the age of seven years, there were about 50 children 
receiving instruction. 

"My people were then, as were the other members of the tribe, en- 
gaged in farming in a small way, which meant the women, following the 
custom of the race, went into the field and hoed the crops, and went to 
the woods to gather fuel, while the men fished and hunted game. 

"We were an industrous, quiet, and unobstrusive people, making it a 
point to properly care for our poor. While the tribal relations were main- 
tained, there were never any occasions for the authorities of the town to 
bother themselves on that score. 

"We, the Michels, trace our genealogy back to Canonicus and Can- 
onchet. On my father's side we go back to John Michel, an Irishman, 
who came into the tribe, was formally married according to tribal custom, 
and who remained on the reservation at Shannock. On my mother's side 
we go back to Rev. Samuel Niles, a member of the tribe, the second min- 
ister of that name, under whom the Indian meeting house was erected. 
John Michel married my great grandmother, whose tribal name was Dix 
or Dick — it is spelled both ways, or at least has been. Among their de- 
scendants was Brister C. Michel, who married his second cousin, Mary 
Ann Champlin. He was my father. 

"I was about 15 years old when the common tribal reservation was sold 
to the State, when I came to Wakefield to live and married George 
Watson. I never heard the Narragansett dialect spoken and I do not 
believe that there is now any living member of the tribe who did. 

"We know but little of the traditions of the tribe, because when I was a 
little girl there were but few who could relate any of them. I vividly re- 
call the August dance, the great gathering which was attended by every 
member of the tribe who could possibly travel to the old town hall, but I 
have no recollection of anything else, save that I heard my father say that 
when one of the tribe wished to take up a piece of ground he went before 
the Governor and the four councillors, made known his desire and secured 
an allotment, when he was 'turfed and twigged'. This meant he was 
crowned with a piece of turf taken from the land he received, and was 
smartly whipped with switches cut from its growth, that he might never 
forget when the land came to him. 

"We have been told that after the Great Swamp fight in Kings Town 
In December, 1675, now South Kingstown, when the Massachusetts sol- 
diers surprised and routed the Narragansatts, putting many of them to 
dath, a considerable number of the tribe journeyed west, finally unitine 
with the Sacs and Foxes and settling upon tribal lands in Wisconsin. 

";i''!;ii!"i";!i'^iiiii/''nii!!iiiijii!"iiiiirM^ ■•Miiii''-'Miii'"''i||i'''"Mipi-'Mii|ii«'Mii|ii'M||j|irMiip^ 





111'- December 4 


"Once, one of these Wisconsin Indians came to our house and talked 
with my grandmother, who readily recognized some of the tribal names 
which he said were commonly used in that consolidated tribe as distinctly 
pertaining to the Narragansetts. Another body of Narragansetts went up 
into New York State and united with the Brotherton Indians, the tribe to 
which the New York State authorities a few years ago paid $7,000,000 for 
relinquishing their claim upon lands held by them for generations. 

The common tribal land held by the Narragansetts was transferred to 
the State under a commission appointed by the General Assembly, in 1879, 
consisting of Dwight R. Adams, George Carmichael, Jr., and Willian P. 
Sheflfield, Jr., with power to treat with the tribe. The Indian Council 
furnished this commission with the names of all who had any claim upon 
the tribal property, after which there were three formal meetings of the 
Narragansetts to consider the proposed sale. The final conference was 
held in March, 1880, at which an agreement was made to purchase the land 
for $5,000, the price named by the tribe. This was considered a liberal 
allowance, considering that the only income derived from it could be de- 
voted to paying the expense of the council was less than $50 per year and 
that the Indian school had been a practical failure for years. 

Before the bargain was completed a proposition was advanced that 
the purchase price be deposited and held as a fund, the revenue from which 
should be devoted to the support of the poor of the tribe. This was stren- 
uously objected to. A division of the money was said to be the only sat- 
isfactory method that could be pursued. 

That plan being agreed to, a committee of the General Assembly was 
appointed to make the final arrangements. Before the deal was con- 
summated, however, the General Assembly passed an act conferring the 
rights of citizenship upon the Narragansetts. The committee then re- 
ceived from Benjamin Thomas and Gideon Ammons of the tribe a list of 
those who were judged to be entitled to a part of the money. 

Other names were presented which led to considerable controversy. 
In the end 301 names were placed upon the eligible list and the distribu- 
tion was made on that basis. With the exception of those of Ammons, 
Fairweather, Noka, Primos, Sekater, and Sias, there was little resem- 
blance to Indian nomenclature. Fully nine-tenths of the names were 
common to South Kingstown, Charlestown, and Westerly, such as Cham- 
plin. Hazard, Cook, Conroy, Watson,. Brown, and Smith. The last tribal 
meeting was held in the Old State House on Benefit street, May 15, 1880, 
when collectively and severally, the members of the tribe quit-claimed the 
reservation to the State. The conveyance did not include any lands 
that had been acquired through individual purchase or through inheritance, 
so that there is still considerable held now in severalty by members of the 
tribe, the Michels, so Mrs. George E. Watson says, holding about 500 
acres in that way. 

HE Ecstacy of Infinite Comfort; 
Vision heavily padded and securely protected; 
The Ne Plus Ultra of Inertia; 
The Supreme Altar of Tradition; 
Precedent made divine; 
Progress impeded ad infinitum; 
The main advance of the "Hold-Back-Brigade"; 
Ignorance, Stupidity, Backwardness — a triple Virtue; 
"We live in the greatest State in God*s own country; in 
the Greatest little City in that State; in the finest little 
neighorhood in that City"; 

An unconscious Rip Van Winkle loathing to be 

The Death of the Bug that fell asleep on the Rug; 

"What was good enough for my father is good enough 

for me" raised to the wth power; 

"Dead" ones sustained in the illusion of living; 

The worn-out impeding machinery of Past Ideals and 

Basic Movements; 

The High Priestess of the Long Ago; 

Humanity "vegetating" at High Cost; 

The High, White Light of the Standstill; 

A Quiet Nook, missing the swift main current; 

The Sandbars of inevitably "flowing" Change; 

The laissez-faire of Self-Satisfaction; 

"The Bleak Perfection" of the Now; 

The Embalming of a Live Present for a Dead Past; 

The Bolting of Doors Against Truth ever in the Making; 

The Perpetuation of past Social and Governmental 


The Quintessence of Mediocrity; 

A continuous Response to the Encore of old Errors. 


| ^= i|iiiiiiiijHi j jjj| J 

^^'HE man who goes 
\CP alone can start to- 
day; but he who travels 
with another must 
wait till that other is 
ready, and it may be a 
long time before they 
get off.